With less than a month away to the Christmas, colourful lights and decorations can be seen popping up as Singapore gears up to celebrate the festive holidays. This can be said of Gardens by the Bay as Christmas Wonderland returns for its second year with its successful yuletide fair. Officially opened on a nice cozy Friday night (27th November 2015), POPCulture Online’s two “Kens” head down to soak in the Christmas atmosphere and check out the sights and sounds of this year’s Christmas Wonderland @ Gardens by the Bay.
The first venue we visited is the Christmas Toyland Floral Display at the Flower Dome. From traditional Christmas decorations such as toy soldiers, angels, reindeers, teddy bears and of course the strong air con, this is going to be as close as it gets to a Christmas experience in the west where temperatures drop to a comfortable cold.
The tallest structure here at the Flower Dome is the 11 metre tall German carousel inspired Christmas pyramid with a compliment of flowers at the based in Christmas colours. Do watch out for it as on certain days (do check out the Gardens by the Bay website) the bottom portion is transformed into a stage for live performances.
Moving onto our next venue, The Fairground, we had a chance to hop onto a trackless Christmas inspired train to enjoy a short ride to The Fairground. Sure you can take a nice leisure stroll there but after quite a bit of walking and looking at the amount of standing to go, the train ride (charges apply) is a nice little break. A shout out to our train driver as well for careful navigation through the turns while watching out for other visitors.
Ah the rush of nostalgia as we arrive at The Fairground as the Carousel welcomes us with colourful lights and vintage sculptured horses.
Transporting you to the funfairs of old, The Fairground also features a 14 metre tall slide with the Helter Skelter and of course the good old game stores where you can win nice Disney toys.
Our final stop for the evening is the Festive Grounds where visitors to Christmas Wonderland @ Gardens by the Bay can rest their tired feed, refresh themselves with yummy food or just sit back, relax and enjoy the Garden Rhapsody Christmas Edition just for this festive period.
The Ice Palace is also one feature to check out at The Festive Grounds as it is not only a nice place to escape the heat of our tropical location but there is just this atmosphere inside where adults and kids skate around the ice ring. For those who are afraid of falling, no worries as there are penguins or polar bears supports so that everyone regardless of skill level can join in the fun.
For the hungry Christmas Wonderland visitor, you will be glad to know that the Spiegeltent returns to Gardens by the Bay this year with delicious festive dinning opportunity. All festive sets are designed for the occasion by Harry’s and for $35, you get a nice weekend brunch menu which has a main course and you get to pick from sections of the buffet as well.
The Spiegeltent is specially flown in and even its walls make nice photo opportunities so do remember to check it out even if you don’t intent to dine in. For those looking for a quick bite, there are also stores around the place selling drinks and snacks and even burgers for those who need food on the go.
Completing the whole yuletide experience are the beautiful Luminarie Light Sculptures that populate the entire Christmas Wonderland @ Gardens by the Bay area. Beautifully handcrafted by Italian craftsmen, this year’s architecture design gives off the old medieval feel and another popular photo opportunity for visitors.
The highlight for this year’s Luminarie Light Sculptures is the Spalliera which surrounds the Cassa Armonica gazebo. Here we had the official opening ceremony take place with Guest-of-Honour Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr S Iswaran kicking things off.
Guess the minister is also a fan of the “snow” experience that is also a crowd favourite looking at all the handphones out. Do take note that it will get extremely crowded here so those with little ones do watch out for them.
While not many will have the opportunity to travel abroad to experience a cold festive Christmas in the western countries, the Christmas Wonderland @ Gardens by the Bay is a very good alternative especially with the temperatures dropping to a nice cool here in Singapore for the year end. Thank you Blue Sky Events for bring us this little piece of Christmas for everyone to enjoy.
Access to Christmas Wonderland is free, while admission charges for the Flower Dome apply. For more information on the festival and the full entertainment line-up, visit www.christmaswonderland.sg.
Photos by Ken Koh
By Kenneth Wong
© POPCulture Online 2015